Man arrested after three-town chase abandons car and puppy


SANBORNTON — A Franklin man who led police from three communities on a chase Friday through Sanbornton, Franklin, New Hampton and Tilton abandoned his car and a puppy before being apprehended by Tilton Police.

12-07 Mark FullerLt. Kevin McIntosh said Mark Fuller, 33, of Franklin faces once count of driving after being deemed a habitual offender.

McIntosh said the incident began on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. When a Sanbornton officer on routine patrol saw a 2001 Honda speed away from the Sanbornton Village Store, cutting off a car.

He said police followed the car and it accelerated to about 62 mph and passed several vehicles on New Hampton Road and then turned onto Babbit Road in Franklin.

The car wouldn't stop on Sanborn Street in Franklin and eventually turned down a Class XI road and the officer lost sight of him. Not long after, police located the abandoned car with a puppy left inside.

Sanbornton, Franklin and Tilton police, with the assistance of the State Police, surrounded the area and a State Police K-9 led them to Calef Hill Road and to Fuller.

Fuller was charged with possession of drugs by Tilton Police and possibly faces additional charges as the investigation continues.

Police found the three other passengers at Smitty's Cinema in Tilton. They were questioned in Franklin and released.

12-07 fuller car

This car was abandoned in Tilton, along with a puppy, on Friday. Mark Fuller, 33, of Franklin, is charged with fleeing from police. (Courtesy Sanbornton Police)

Man charged in home invasion released from jail, re-arrested


LACONIA — One of two local men arrested over the summer for a home invasion on Church Street and inadvertently released from jail was re-arrested by Laconia Police over the weekend after he failed to show up for his court date.

Belknap County Melissa Guldbrandsen said Zachary Estevez, 19, of Laconia and Ryan Chase, 21, of Moultonborough were both arrested in early August and each charged with one count of robbery and one count of burglary.

Both were being held on high cash bail.

However, said Guldbransen, under the new way Belknap County Superior Court processes criminal complaints, the prosecutor's office has two months or two grand jury sessions, whichever is less, to indict someone who is incarcerated or to negotiate a resolution.

In the case of Estevez, Guldbrandsen said she had her indictment ready but learned he had been automatically released from jail by the system.

"I didn't know about it for a week," she said, adding that she accepts full responsibility for his inadvertent release.

In Chase's case, he had agreed to serve 12 months for burglary and he turned himself in and accepted his sentence.

In Estevez's case, he was indicted but failed to show up for his court date. A warrant was issued and he was arrested over this past weekend.

He is being held on $50,000 cash only bail or $100,000 corporate surety.

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Street light conversion on track in Laconia


LACONIA — The conversion of streetlights throughout the city from high pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which will improve the quality and lower the cost of street lighting, will likely begin in February and conclude in March.
City Manager Scott Myers said this week that the city is in the process of contracting with Siemens AG, a German firm headquartered in Munich, to undertake the project. He said Siemens bid $340,000, well below the original estimate of $470,000. The first step in the process will be to conduct a field audit of the approximately 1,345 street lights to confirm the precise number and different types of fixtures to be converted, which could lead to some adjustment to the cost of the project.
The city currently budgets $214,735 for street lighting, which would be approximately halved by replacing HPS bulbs with wattages ranging between 50 watts and 400 watts with LED bulbs of 25 watts, 65 watts and 100 watts that provide the same amount of light. In addition, by converting, the city could qualify for a rebate of $100 per fixture to a maximum of $100,000 from Eversource.

LED lighting consumes less energy and has a life span of 10 to 15 years, two to four times longer than conventional street lighting, which spares maintenance costs. LED lights turn on and off quickly and restart immediately after a power outage. By directing light downward on to the roadway, LED lights cast less glare into the eyes of motorists.

Myers described the project as "self-financing," explaining that by applying the savings to service the debt incurred to install the lights, the project, with the $100,000 rebate, would pay for itself in three years without requiring an upfront cost or increasing the operating budget. Alternatively, by extending the term of the borrowing, the project would generate a positive cash flow from the outset rather than require three or four years to realize any savings. Myers said that the Finance Committee will ultimately determine how to finance the project.